Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bonding With Amie

So, Reilly, my hybrid, needs a new back wheel. She has had three broken spokes in the last year and the bike mechanic said that is the magic number. It's amazing how much I love that bike. Sun, rain, or snow I've happily ridden that bike dressed for work or dressed to the nines. But, today Reilly stayed in the garage and I took out the road bike, Amie.

As I rode I thought about why I haven't really bonded with this bike. First, she asks a little more of me and my back. Reilly can make my sore back feel better...Amie makes it feel worse. This has been somewhat remedied with a new stem, but, let's face it, the stem sucks. I love that it puts me as upright as I can be on a road bike (well, assuming I don't outfit her with some comfort handlebars - trust me, I've thought of it), but it is an adjustable stem and so it wiggles a bit...sometimes more than a bit. This sometimes gives me a feeling of vertigo as I go down hills and you know how much I love hills. Sigh.

I also feel like I have to be "outfitted" for her. Her seat is not as comfortable (enter chamois shorts) and she doesn't have a chain guard so I feel like I have to wear skinny pants. Today, however, I rode her in my regular clothes. I just slapped some rubber bands around my ankles and I was off. This actually worked pretty well.

But, as I was riding, I thought about what I do like about Amie. She's fast. 15 miles per hour on 46 pound Reilly is about as fast as that bike can go. 15 miles per hour on 17 pound Amie is a walk in the park. For RAGBRAI, this could make all the difference. Clipping in is easier on the knees and feet. She stops on a dime. Her handlebars give you lots of positions. All good things.

So why haven't I bonded with her? Is it that I just prefer bike commuting to road biking? Maybe. But, I sure had fun on my long rides with Reilly. Whatever it is, I'm taking Amie to RAGBRAI, because it is the only way I'm going to keep up with my dad. That for me is the whole point of the ride. Hopefully, the sun will come out again in Portland so my husband will go on a long ride with me. Those kinds of experiences make you bond with a bike. Otherwise, I hope that somewhere between the Missouri and the Mississippi I will finally bond with the bike that will carry me 442 miles. Then, Amie will live up to her name: friend.


  1. Awwww....Good luck to you and Amie at the RAGBRAI.


  2. Sara, you don't have to worry about keeping up with an old man like me. We are going to ride RAGBRAI 100% together. Dad